Compared with the automotive or aerospace industry, the shipbuilding industry is characterized by extremely short development and production cycles. It takes only a little more than a year for a vessel to evolve from initial design to launch. Up to 200 suppliers may be involved in its development. Insufficient communication between the shipyards and their partners is becoming an ever more significant obstacle in the development process. Fortunately, solutions for process automation in product data communication provide anelegant way of avoiding such problems.